TikTok’s Anna Jakovleva on the Future of Candidate Experience

Anna Jakovleva, Senior HRBP at TikTok, shares her thoughts on the future of recruitment, specifically the evolution of candidate experience and the importance of value alignment. Anna’s insights originally appeared alongside those of 11 other talent acquisition experts in our eBook, Reimagining Recruitment.

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Liz Marchetti
November 23, 2021

In August 2021, we spoke with Anna Jakovleva, Senior HRBP at TikTok. Anna shared her thoughts on the future of recruitment, specifically the evolution of candidate experience and the importance of value alignment.


Anna’s insights originally appeared alongside those of 11 other talent acquisition experts in our eBook, Reimagining Recruitment. You can download your own copy of our 50-page guide for free here


These are our three favorite things we learned from our conversation with Anna:

1. Finding the Right Candidate Is about Value Alignment and Growth 

“I think most of us have experienced that feeling that makes us say ‘yes’ when we successfully get hired at a company. Just like when we choose friends, the hiring process is all about finding out if we share the same values. And maybe, as a candidate, you don’t share them yet, but you want to in the future.

“It’s about establishing what will accompany both of us and encourage us to grow together”

“If we think about how we choose friends, it’s all about those values and principles that we discover we share — or don’t share — over time. 


“This development together is what counts in fast-paced organizations — you build on this long-term relationship. It’s not just a case of ‘this is what we believe in right now’ — it’s about establishing what will accompany both of us and encourage us to grow together. 

2. Traditional Interviews Don’t Always Help Uncover What You Need to Know

“This is difficult to find out within the couple of interviews, depending on how, to what degree the person wants to open themselves up, and how open you are yourself as an interviewer.”


“The hiring process is almost becoming like a coaching practice. Sometimes, interviews with candidates become more like conversations that help them reflect on their next step.

“You take your values as a company, and you help your candidate benchmark those against their own values. You help them discover if it feels like a match — and to what degree they see that match. You ask them questions to help them dig into what they’re looking for in their career, and understand themselves better.


“And as it is in relationships, you can grow apart as well — right? So you can both gain confidence during these kinds of conversations as to whether it will be a partnership that will accompany the candidate into their next life steps.”

3. The Future of Recruitment Is More Personal

“The individual approach is becoming more and more important to developing a better candidate experience during the hiring process. We need to be more open-minded and listen actively, and have more flexibility in our approach.

“It could be smaller things like… contacting your candidate via WhatsApp”

“Unfortunately this doesn’t sound like a scalable approach for a lot of companies, but it’s totally paying for itself. Individualizing the approach to hiring means we’re really taking the time to understand the drivers or what matters to your candidate. It could be smaller things like switching from a formal email to contacting your candidate via WhatsApp to clarify things more quickly — or it could be having more flexibility in compensation packages. 


“This really interlocks with the ways we’re seeing work changing.”

Get more expert opinions on the future of recruiting in our free eBook.

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